Mon, Jun 08, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Tiger Woods’ career-worst round overshadows Rose

AFP, DUBLIN, Ohio

Tiger Woods hits a shot out of a bunker on the fourth hole in the third round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, on Saturday.

Photo: Brian Spurlock-USA Today

Tiger Woods’ staggeringly bad day stole the spotlight on Saturday at the Memorial, leaving England’s Justin Rose to seize the tournament lead in relative obscurity.

Rose signed for a six-under 66 that gave him a 15-under total of 201 and a three-shot lead over Italy’s Francesco Molinari and Sweden’s David Lingmerth.

However, Woods’s career-worst 85, 13-over, was the topic of conversation as tournament host Jack Nicklaus reflected on the round.

“I’m not only surprised, I feel very bad for him,” said Nicklaus, whose 18 major titles have long been the target chased by 14-time major champion Woods. “He has struggled healthwise. He has struggled with his short game earlier in the year. He feels like he’s coming back and then does this.”

“I don’t have an answer for it, an explanation, I’m sure he probably doesn’t either,” Nicklaus said.

Not surprisingly, Woods declined to discuss the debacle, capped by a quadruple-bogey eight at the 18th hole.

He had a three-round total of 12-over 228, a tough week getting even tougher as he put four balls in the water, and had six bogeys and two double-bogeys — and just one birdie — before his quadruple-bogey at the last.

It is just the latest setback in a season that saw Woods post what was then a career-worst 82 at the Phoenix Open in January, then take nine weeks off to work on his game.

An encouraging top-20 return at the Masters has not proved to be a sign of things to come, although Woods, playing just his fifth tournament of the season, insists he will stick to the swing changes he is implementing with instructor Chris Como.

Nicklaus said he thought the 39-year-old superstar, who has slumped to world No. 172, should rely less on outside advice and more on his own knowledge of his game.

“He’s the only one who really knows what’s going on,” Nicklaus said, discussing the day in a television interview.

However, Nicklaus said he believed the former world No. 1 would get his game in shape.

“He’s got such a great work ethic,” he said.

The chance that Woods can turn things around in time for the US Open in two weeks certainly looks dim, but Nicklaus is pulling for him.

“The game needs you, Tiger,” Nicklaus said.

While Woods endured a day where nearly everything went wrong, Rose enjoyed the opposite.

“It was one of those days where everything sort of went my way,” the Englishman said. “I had nice yardages, hit good shots. I think I stayed patient at certain times. There’s certain pin placements out there that you need to respect.”

“I felt like I putted well at times and just kept the whole thing on track,” added Rose, who had four birdies and a bogey in his outward run, and three birdies coming in.

Molinari kept the pressure on until a bogey at the par-three 16th, the Italian finishing with five birdies and two bogeys in a three-under 69 for 12-under 204.

Overnight leader Lingmerth fired an even-par 72.

He and Molinari were one stroke in front of Jim Furyk of the US, who carded a 70 for 205.

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